Mycological Progress

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 325–328 | Cite as

Headspace analysis identifies indole and 1-octen-3-ol as the “coal tar” odor of Tricholoma inamoenum

  • William F. WoodEmail author
  • David L. Largent
  • Terry W. Henkel


The odor emanating from sporocarps of Tricholoma inamoenum has been described as resembling “coal tar”. To characterize the compounds responsible for this odor, volatile chemicals released from T. inamoenum sporocarps were collected using solid phase microextraction (SPME). Subsequent analysis by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) showed only indole and 1-octen-3-ol, so these compounds must be responsible for the “coal tar” odor of T. inamoenum. Mushroom pileus size was a factor in the amount of indole produced; larger mushrooms released 25-times more indole than smaller ones. A comparison of SPME and CH2Cl2 solvent extraction of sporocarps showed major differences in the volatile organic compounds. Benzaldehyde and phenyl acetaldehyde were the major compounds in the solvent extracts, but were not detected in the SPME experiments. Tissue disruption of the mushroom before solvent extraction showed up to a 40-fold increase in the amount of 1-octen-3-ol present.


CH2Cl2 Indole Volatile Organic Compound Solvent Extraction Benzaldehyde 
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Copyright information

© DGfM 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • William F. Wood
    • 1
    Email author
  • David L. Largent
    • 2
  • Terry W. Henkel
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryHumboldt State UniversityArcataUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological SciencesHumboldt State UniversityArcataUSA

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